Stop Calling Everything ‘The Whitest Thing Ever’

Open a dictionary. Flip it to a random page, and place your finger on a random word. Congratulations! There’s a 75 percent chance you’ve just touched a word that has been described at least once as “the whitest thing ever.”

Comedians do variations on this joke all the time. “So I was out playing with my kids in the snow. Whitest thing I’ve seen since the Republican National Convention and/or a Mumford & Sons concert. Ba-dum-tss.” Plenty of people on Facebook, as far as I know, enjoy posting comments on Facebook about how white something is, or GIFs in which something silly happens, and there’s text they’re somewhere that reads either “whitest thing ever” or “LOL white people.” (Most of the people I’ve seen post things like that are actually white. I don’t know what to make of this.)

I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but as a matter of practical fact, not everything can be “the whitest thing ever.” It has to be either the way your redneck cousin pronounces “Venezuelan” or the way people used to dance in the 50s; it can’t be both.

So I would like to propose a collaborative project for the internet to work on: a definitive, ordered list of the whitest things ever. It would be like “Things White People Like,” only with ranking. So, for example, live-tweeting The View would be a much whiter thing than watching The View. But something like cross-country skiing versus spin class might be a little harder to figure out, so we should put it to an online.

Of course, that still leaves the question of what actually is the whitest thing ever.

Actually, now that I think of it, maybe “a white person trying to make jokes about what the whitest thing ever is” might actually be, in itself, the whitest thing ever.



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